As part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry Initiative, the foundation has donated a $900,000 grant to Spelman College to help establish or strengthen programs that help female pastors network with other clergy and lead them through leadership challenges in congregational ministry to prepare them for their future career.
Spelman College’s Women in Spiritual Discernment of Ministry (WISDOM) Center and Sisters Chapel will use the funds to create a WISDOM Center Fellowship in addition to two Sisterhood Summits, according to a Spelman release.
“Spelman’s WISDOM Center has made an indelible mark on the Spelman legacy and the presence of Black women in ministry,” said Dr. Neichelle Guidry, dean of Sisters Chapel and director of the WISDOM center. “Our goal with the Thriving in Ministry grant is to build upon that leadership and history while also subverting traditional models of leadership. You do not have to be in a church or pulpit to do ministry. We want to shift the definitions and traditional approach to ministry leadership.”
Dr. Neichelle Guidry
Under the new fellowship, Spelman’s Thriving in Ministry program plans to find cohorts of six Black millennial women pastors, activists and theologians and couple them with WISDOM fellows requesting mentors in those fields for one year.
Through the Thriving in Ministry program, Spelman hopes that it will: